First song up on the album is Premonition, this kicks off the record with a song about getting a funny feeling that something intense is about to happen, maybe something good, maybe something bad, you’re not quite sure.
The song is arranged to be just a sort of a rush of musical information, everybody sort of riff on their own in the song, and we sort of come together at different times in the arrangement, especially the pre-solo riff that is a cool Rock moment in the song. Overall the song is really about to bring out the emotions of appending doom, something like that I don’t know that’s kind that what was going through my head when I wrote it, and it’s been kick around my head in my studio for about a year, but this version turned out very good. Here it is, « Premonition ».
Dream Song, this song is a song I actually dreamt! What I mean by that is I woke up one morning and I realised that I’ve been having a dream about a song, but not actually hearing it but actually writing it and playing it.
It was one of those dreams where the images aren’t very clear but the sound of the music was very strong in my head, soon as I woke up I had the whole song in my head, the arrangement, how I wanted to play it. I ran on my studio, within about two and a half hours I had the whole demo all mapped out, most of the guitars playing done, the keyboards, demo drums, things like that. So I was really able to present a demo to the the guys that was pretty strong and straight ahead with this idea. The crazy thing is the demo matches the sound of the song in my head and that’s never happened before, so I had to call it Dream Song, what else could I call?
Next up is a song called Pyrrhic Victoria, that’s an old title so I will explain it to you. « Pyrrhic Victoria » is an old term, it goes back to a couple thousand years, and what it really means is a victory that you obtain but at great cost, almost a crepeline cost. This was a subject that I think happens to all of us during our lives, we strive for something, we get i, then we realise that we gave up quite a bit or costes quite a bit to get there.
So it was just one of those subjects I was sort of compelling to write about, and I wanted to started off with some really heavy riff. This was a cool song to work out on the studio because Allen and I really had to figure out exactly how to get our riff to work out just perfectly together and Jeff of course had to sudden crank out a heavy groove but in the end it all came together really tied and of course there’s Mike on top going crazy on the electric piano. This is a really big song, when the chorus comes it’s pretty epic with the string and all that, so enjoy. This one is called « Pyrrhic Victoria »
Light Years Away
Next up is a song called Light Years Away, it’s the first single from the new album. This song is really about travelling some place, light years away, place you really try to get to. I wanted this heavy groove to really reflect the journey, so the arrangement is long, the album version is quite a bit longer than the single edit.
In this way I felt that the riffs got heavier and then everyone’s performance sort of cooked and cooked until I got hotter and hotter towards the end, something I really wanted to happen. The song starts with the keyboards just bubbling up and the band kicks in with a heavy groove, this song is a real rocker and this was a lot a fun to do in the studio, it’ wasn’t so difficult to do because everyone was so excited about the heavy groove, and just sort of locking as a tight live band and give a real essential performance for the recording. Anyway, this one is called « Light Years Away », check it out!
Next up is a piece called Solitude, this is a guitar solo piece that actually did start out that way. We actually tried to record it as an ensemble piece, but since we were using as the gay track my original performance from my home studio which was a solo piece, I guess it started to grown in everybody and we’ve all decided that should stay at a solo piece.
It was actually recorded in front of a song called « Heartbeats » which is a bonus track for the album but doesn’t appear on the main record. But I loved it so much, I felt to really have a meaning of it sound and I moved it over into the main album as a stand alone piece and mainly as an introduction to the song « Littleworth Lane ». It’s a simple song, it’s not a lot of fireworks on the fretboard, it’s basically a bunch of triads moving around to create a deep mood and to bring about the idea of deep reflection. This song is called « Solitude ».
Next up is a song called Littleworth Lane. This is a gospel teen song and it’s really written about the house that my mother lived in for the last few decades, a very unique house in New York, and it was built around 1689 so this is a very old house, very charming. It’s got very low ceelings, really wind stairways, everything about is really small, it’s got the colonial charm to it.
The first demo for « Littleworth Lane » was done on a piano backstage in Chicago I think, or many Naples, or Milwaukee… one of those. And I recorded on my iPhone so it’s a great level recording, it almost sounds like a piano underwater and you hear me hall, but the arrangement with I came up that afternoon, we capted in, it’s the exact same arrangement that’s on the album.
And in that house we had a lot of great times and I supposed that house embodied a lot of the personality of my mom’s, my whole family enjoyed being here with her and I wanted to start writing songs about her life and I though I start with the house that we all love so much and I knew that she did too, so this one is called « Littleworth Lane ».
The Golden Room
Next up is a song called The Golden Room, so this song, musically, started maybe about 2 years ago, I was working on some of an Indian loop were I wanted to improvise against, and I started over the months to work on a composition without thinking about it, and it sort of grew and grew and I started to really hear something than I thought was a joining of some Indian influence music and some Andalusia music, some Spanish flamenco influences. And I was working on putting them together somehow, maybe using maybe the melody as Indian and the improv as Spanish or going the other way. Anyway we turned out with Indian improvs and Andalusian melodies and choruses, and there’s a lot of interplay between Allan’s bass playing, Mike’s keyboards and my guitar playing in there, so that was also a part of what we were trying to accomplish for the song.
The title comes from and idea, a concept that if you imagine yourself in a golden room, you can protect your spirit from oustside influences that you see as negative or evil, I was this whole concept and I thought the music really fits the whole concept of « The Golden Room ».
Two Sides To Every Story
Next song up is Two Sides To Every Story. This song is grealty influences by the great sax horn player Eddie Harris. This is a horn player that I learned about through my mom, she used to love his records and playing the one I was growing up, and I really liked his rhythmic sense and also his ability to really kind of cross in, I suppose, give out a really beautiful funky melody and that was his key I think. He was very melodic but he was always funky, very groovy, and I responded to that as a young kid no really part of the jazz generation but I guess I was developping a new hear for music and I can tell right away this guy was really special.
So Eddie Harris probably insprired me not only that way but in kind of songs that he wrote he put out records that were very diverse and this record, Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards is a very diverse record, so perfect tone for this very funky song called « Two Sides To Every Story ».
Next up is a song called Wormhole Wizards. Now this song is about wormholes of course those little passkey little things who let you jump from one universe to one other. I do know that this things are only on the sub-atomic level, very small, we don’t yet possess the technology to stretch them open big enough to get into, but anyway it’s a cool idea the thing that in the future there will be this guys, maybe they are in a rock’n’roll band and they just have to be the wizards who figure out. And get one place to an other, open up this wormholes from place to place. They could do gigs into one universe and then come back in an other universe. So this is the idea I had when I wrote the song about it, I had to move on with the Sustainiac, my pickup on guitar, and this song is called « Wormhole Wizards ».
I thought it was a cool idea if there were these wizards in the future, who figured out a way to actually open up those wormholes and use them to travel from one universe to an other. You’re not really going from one universe to an other, and living the other one without you, actually you wanted to creat a double, and they are parallel universes out there so that means it could be a group of wormhole wizards, double-gangers, clones if you will, all playing gigs, all around different parts of the universe at the same time. Of course you have to work out beacause you pay only for one manager and one agent, otherwise you can make any money.
And maybe sometime in a distant future, they all get together and they have one concert together, all of the clone bands. And of course there will be like matter and antimatter coming together, because they play one note and everything, and we have an other Big Bang and it start all over again. But… it make for a good show.